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Group celebrates rescued horse’s return to health, new home
#1 Posted : Thursday, December 10, 2015 6:09:27 PM(UTC)

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Group celebrates rescued horse’s return to health, new home

Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015 

When horses are in the local news, it sometimes isn’t for positive reasons. Too often they are abused or abandoned.

The Equine Rescue and Adoption Foundation (www.eraf.org) in Palm City rehabilitates abused horses. Azda Soda Nay was one of one of those cases. Two years ago, the former dressage horse was found nearly starved to death. He was with several other horses, and one of them was in such bad shape, she had to be euthanized on the spot. After a harrowing battle with gastrointestinal issues and later, a broken leg, “Soda” pulled through and was recently adopted by a couple in Jupiter Farms. He’s one of many small, unsung victories won by horse rescues every day. ERAF volunteer and grant coordinator Barbara Alesi wrote a story about Soda in an effort to show the positive side of what is often a grim undertaking.

Group celebrates rescued horse’s return to health, new home photo
Azda Soda Nay or Soda, a rescue horse saved from starvation in 2013 by the Equine Rescue and Adoption Foundation in Palm City. Soda was recently adopted by a couple in Jupiter Farms. ERAF volunteer and seasonal Palm City resident Barbara Alesi wrote a story from Soda’s point of view in an effort to highlight the positive work of horse rescues. Photo provided by ERAF

“I wrote a little autobiography told from his point of view,” she said. “He exemplifies the tragic stories of so many of these horses. I wanted to highlight the work of horse rescues.”

Soda’s rehabilitation got off to a rocky start. His esophagus was worn down from trying to eat a wooden fence because he was starving. He choked on hay and nearly died. Volunteers had to make him a special carrot and sweet potato mash every day. Once they had his diet under control and he began gaining weight, he broke his leg playing in the pasture. He was immobilized on stall rest for 90 days, and became deeply depressed.

“His head was hung so low,” Alesi said. “A number of people thought he wanted to die. He was sinking. The volunteers rallied around this horse. We tried our best to get him walking again. He had such a will to live and continue on. He’s incredible.”

Soda’s fighting spirit inspired Alesi and the other volunteers. They helped the Arabian come back from the brink, and formed an unbreakable bond with him in the process. When they found him the perfect home, saying goodbye was bittersweet. They threw a farewell party in his honor, complete with pizza and a cake inscribed with “Bon Voyage Azda Soda Nay.”

“He’s at the most beautiful barn,” Alesi said of Soda’s new home. “They are very loving people. He couldn’t have ended up in a better place.”

Soda is one of the successes that keep rescuers going in the face of so much horror and heartbreak. For every rescued horse that finds a loving home, there are hundreds that aren’t as fortunate.

“There are magnificent horses — race horses, jumpers, dressage horses — who gave their heart and soul to their owners and won them thousands, if not millions, of dollars,” Alesi said. “Once they can’t produce anymore, they are sent to slaughter like lambs. They come to us broken and beaten and emotionally devastated. ERAF works miracles with these animals. They do whatever they can to get them back on their feet.”

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